Favorite Sermon Add to Playlist
Photo of Scott Ritsema

Reclaiming the Soul in the Digital Dark Age - Part 4

Scott Ritsema


Scott Ritsema

Founder and Speaker for Belt of Truth Ministries




  • June 20, 2019
    7:45 PM
Logo of Creative Commons BY-NC-ND 3.0 (US)

Free sharing permitted under the Creative Commons BY-NC-ND 3.0 (US) license.

The ideas in this recording are those of its contributors and may not necessarily reflect the views of AudioVerse.


Audio Downloads

This transcript may be automatically generated

Father in heaven we thank you so much for your goodness to us we thank you for Jesus the one in whom we live and move and have our being we thank you that we can have a seminar inquiring of our Lord Jesus what would he have us to do with regard to our media use please bring us in Lightman an understanding please bring us discernment and courage as well to make decisions for our lives help us to be inspired to share these things with others as we think about those who are trapped in this this prison of digital addiction and so we just pray for your Holy Spirit to be present with us and give us hope give us promise give us understanding and we pray this in Jesus' name and I want to begin with a Facebook executive former Facebook executive that I quoted yesterday do you remember what he said yesterday before I continue with what he said there. Yes he said we are ripping apart the social fabric of this of how society works he says we're destroying how society works by everything going digital in terms of our social relationships and now I quote him saying this in the same interview he did former Facebook executive says you don't realize it but you are being programmed we're going to see in this session how big tech is on a absolute rampage with programming this generation and before I even say that I want to tell you that you can hear him say these things instead of just reading it on a screen by looking at our media mind trailer that we just released last week we did it we put together a preview of the media mind Oh and that reminds me also the the a.b.c. with their table there tomorrow they said let's let's have the people be able to place the preorders for the media mind through the a.b.c. right there at the table then it's not me telling you go to the website and do that and then you're not on your smartphones while you're listening to a message right because you're engaged you're here you're fully present So anyway this series that we're going through is the portions of the full media mind series that's going to be released in September and you'll be able to order that at the table tomorrow so be sure to be here tomorrow for our final media mind session now that I say final session or final media mind session final media mind session because Friday we're going to do some of the throwback material the classic media on the brain information and if you haven't heard that in a while maybe I've been to your church or you were here 7 years ago when we did that live in at the camp meeting come anyway because it's great review and then you can internalize and you can share those things with others but we are indeed being programmed so hear him say that on on the trailer that we would probably find it on You Tube I don't know I don't know exactly how to find it just email me that's the only way I'll know how to give it to you I don't know if you can search it on You Tube yet but the media minds trailer number one and the media mine trailer number 2 will have this. Well and Sean Parker the founding president of Facebook when he came out and he was like God only knows what it's doing to our children's brains and he says we were deliberately exploiting a vulnerability in human psychology when we created these platforms those are amazing statements from these people who are at the very founding the very origins of these platforms and these social media tools now some of the other guys that were involved with the building of these technologies is the fellow who invented the Facebook Like button where you get the like and you get the hit of dopamine and you feel good somebody is a prove to me somebody likes what I said or what I did or my photo every other social media platform followed with the Like button because it became this cycle where people crave likes by the way yesterday when we look at anti social media people who crave likes are also especially psychologically and emotionally harmed by Facebook and social media use as opposed to people who have a little less you know desire I need the likes to affirm who I am and all of that but the guy who invented the like button he himself came out in an interview and said I regret having invented that it's messing with people and he said he himself has 0 social media apps on his phone he doesn't abstain completely everybody's going to find their own balance and this for some people it's totally get off of it as messing with you for other people you can have it on your phone and it really doesn't interrupt your day and disrupt your relationship for him he said no way this stuff gets in the way of what I'm trying to do in the present moment in the physical space in which I inhabit so I'm only going to use social media on the computer at home on my phone everywhere I go this is the man who invented a certain function on your smartphone you probably noticed it it's called pull to refresh where you pull the screen down and then it goes waiting waiting thinking thinking and then. You get all these little items with these blue dots or whatever it is next to. It and he was asked in an interview is this kind of like a slot machine because we've heard a lot of talk from these tech engineers about how they're manipulating people psychology of the Open mean system and reward circuitry is this like the casinos were doing with the gambling with a slot machine pull down and wait wait wait wait wait circular motion to me he's like yeah that's pretty much what it was and he also pointed out that with data speeds today that function is totally irrelevant it's not needed anymore because you can have automatic refreshing happening so quickly but that would defeat the purpose of the pulldown wait moment and you got the reward and you get more and more addicted to these devices and to these phones by the way there's a difference between this type of addiction and that type of addiction with that place called the casino you actually have to get in your car think it through Schedule it I'm actually going to go there you do the drive of shame was I'm actually going to do this and then you're going to waste the money there and you know where people wonder where I am it's a lot harder to get addicted to that than something that's with you all the time isn't it they call it variable rewards. As opposed to consistent rewards this would be intermittent You don't know whether you're going to get the reward or not it's variable it very it's a variation on I'm going to pull didn't get anything that time a few minutes later pull Oh I got one there and so what happens in the brain is there is a 400 percent increase in dopamine when it's a variable war reward you don't know if you're going to win it or not then if it's an expected automatic reward that you get accustomed to doing a drastically higher amplification of the dopamine reward circuitry almost as much as cocaine by the way 400 percent increase is just about the same level as cocaine is doing in the brain they call it also the magic of maybe They say that the people manipulators who are using these mechanisms to try to captivate people and get them addicted they use that they use their words like magic it's pretty interesting so I thought of these tech executives kind of as like the wizards of modern digital pharmacopoeia if you will the magic of maybe sometimes you get one sometimes you don't it's that powerful remember Sean Parker founding president the 1st president of Facebook he said in an interview our goal here was to give them a little dopamine hit every once in a while when they're on the social media sites to keep them contributing more content because they don't want you on there for 5 minutes and then off what their whole business model is getting as much of your time on they're contributing as much material and data as possible and he came out and said the inventors creators of these social media sites it's me it's Mark Zuckerberg it's Kevin Systrom on Instagram it's all of these people understood this consciously and we did it anyway this is his way of doing an apology to or as I said yesterday we did this consciously and we were deliberately exploiting vulnerabilities in human psychology what were we thinking and God only knows what it's doing to our children's brains as he said he just admitted. That they were studying and deliberately and consciously how to handicap our ability to self regulate and make our own choices the whole idea is to capture people's choices before they ever get a chance to think it through he goes on and says this is the guy who created the full pull down to refresh he says I have 2 kids now and I regret every minute that I'm not paying attention to them because my smartphone is sucking in his block certain websites turned off push notifications restricted his use of the telegram app to message only with his wife and 2 close friends and trying to wean himself off Twitter he sells else I still waste time on it so there's the verdict from some of these people but if you if you go through the little bit of the history of these platforms and sites even places like You Tube Do you remember at You Tube I when you when you used to go on You Tube years ago you would have to click the video to get it started playing and now you're getting things that automatically play where you just finished a video and then all the sudden you see it Ok wait for the next one and now the next video you're probably going to like based upon the psychological profile of the algorithm we have built of your preferences and all of a sudden you're watching the next video and you didn't even plan on doing that right and I was doing this very slide at a church in San Jose earlier this spring and at the d.v.d. table after sundown a lady came up to me says this is San Jose right this is Silicon Valley she comes up she's like I work for Google Google who owns You Tube And she's like how she's all in hushed tones like the smartphones are listening to us and stuff anyway she works with this is she goes I have to tell you something of an d. percent of You Tube views now are off of auto play which is where it chooses your next video and you're just like captive to this thing 70 percent the majority of use of You Tube videos now are because of this function that is sucking us in to use a phrase of the fellow who preceded this then you get next Netflix do. The same thing you finish the episode it leaves you with a cliffhanger and you don't have to wait till next week now I mean there used to be a little bit of a governor on our binge watching of television now it just plays the next you remember the kids in the video on Sunday that I showed to you and one of them is like I watched 20 hours of a television series in one weekend or something like that oh man this is a major problem it captures us and sucks us right in Facebook auto place same thing when you're on the page the video just starts and it captures our attention doesn't the Bible say don't be taken captive by hollowing deceptive philosophy we want to have the fruit of the Spirit which is self-control so we're in the driver's seat as subservient to God Our master when we are on line when we are on these sites we have to be aware of the techniques being used this one is called the infinite scroll your Remember when you used to get to the bottom of a web page and you felt like you were done do you know what I'm talking about now there's no bottom you just keep on scrolling Pinterest invented it and then everybody else followed and it just keeps us going and going and going and going and going and going and going because we don't want to psychologically we don't want to stop something God created our minds to finish the to ask complete the job well there is no completing point there for 45 minutes and I keep on scrolling psychologists call it a state of insufficiency it's like you know you put the food on the plate and if you left some of it you're like I was I'm in a state of insufficiency I gotta finish that off Same thing with the scrolling so when we get on line here's a little thought a tip something to be cognizant and consciously aware of go on with a purpose I'm going to do x. y. and z. And then when you're done with that get off right because when we're the Weather wise we get sucked right in and wear it where our time is being wasted away this is the guy that invented a smartphone game called flappy bird I never heard of flappy bird but I read about this in a book that I'll tell you about in just a 2nd this guy had such an addictive game people got so addicted to this thing that he was making $50000.00 a day. But he was looking at the data coming in and how much time how much human time was being wasted on playing this silly game and you pick your game it could be Farmville from years ago or whatever it is today his farm bill still around. Is. Pick your video game every one of them is a waste of time and so he goes I feel horrible about what I've done I'm wasting millions of hours of time he pulled a video game from the App Store eliminated p. it took people's alcohol away took their drug away. You realize how much money he just gave up he walked away with his integrity somebody else made a rip off game and walked away with the money but praise God for some of these people who are waking up to the system of control that they are perpetuating this is snap chat the biggest social media thing for young people today and when I heard this phrase for the 1st time I was like I know what that is on a marketing level it's called the snap streak and you haven't how many days in a row you have chatted with certain people in your social media circle and so you have to get on there and say something to them each day or you break your snap streak What does that sound like anybody a former sports fan around here used to be a big sports fanatic What does snap streak sound like like a winning streak right I'm going to lose I got 85 people here 14 people here our many people I got to be avin my snap streak with we've been going for almost a 1000 days we care about it we're such mess these so that we're on there that much longer just to keep their abstract snaps streak up in the Wall of The New York Times pointed out a study of more than $408.00 and 11th graders and they found that many teenage texters had a lot in common with compulsive gamblers including losing sleep because of texting problems cutting back on texting and lying to cover up the amount of time they spent texting now this book got my attention it's called Hooked how to build habit forming products so this is a blueprint of how to do what these big tech companies have done and I'm like What are they saying they will do so let me see let me see if I can read some from the other side here what's going on and what they point out in this is something wonderful on a spiritual level they're just applying it to a frankly nefarious purpose what they pointed out is that how ask of our daily thoughts and actions are unconscious thoughts and actions there are things we do out of habit it's in the basal. Ganglia of the brain and the why do I say that that's a wonderful thing on a spiritual level do you not want to have habits of thought and action that are pleasing to God I want to I want to I want to do this this is what it says in desire but it is this is what I would like to have in my life and I know you would too Christ will so identify himself with our thoughts and names so blend our hearts and minds into conformity to his will that when obeying Him we shall be but carrying out our own impulses did you catch that its impulse to do right because the have bit you will patterns in the basal ganglia and the whole neural network of our brain we are being transformed by the renewing of our minds and that's a verse that I've been saying and hundreds and hundreds of times to do in the media on the brain seminars and it still is relevant as ever in this content what is the verse Romans 12 verse 2 Do not be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewing of our minds now these industries of thought captivation they are seeking to conform the minds of the masses and will touch on that more on Friday with some of that media on the brain material but God doesn't want us to be conforming he wants us to be transformed by the renewing of our minds and so we can have minds that are habitually in thought patterns of holiness righteousness and good that gets me excited about these aspects of the brain God created them for His glory Satan just co-opts them so that when we get a smartphone you know a decade ago and you pick up you say you like this is cool all this is a neat device it's useful all I will use it I use wonder not all of you know of the devil but they can become a problem because Fast forward to our present decade and instead of us saying Cool I'm going to use my smartphone it's like the other way around it's like we're getting use We're getting owned by this system kind of a funny cartoon with the smartphone holding the man instead of the. Holding the smartphone but it's as if it uses me does God have the answer to this he always does let us be in this mindset that Jesus was in that he being in the very nature God did not consider position with God something to be clung on to but made himself of no reputation and took on the very nature of a servant and made in human likeness became obedient to death even the death of the cross and that down were humbling experience that he did to say I will not ascend above the others likes Lucifer said he will do I I will come down and he invites us into that same experience of the mind of setting aside our pleasures and preferences in what we want and being willing to surrender and sacrifice and then all of a sudden this experience starts to come in where he blends his thoughts with our thoughts and he blends his minds with our minds to the point where we are now carrying out our own impulses when we are doing His will never let that go because that's not just like a pipe dream that's not just something oh wouldn't it be great if we could do that that will be the experience of God's people in the last days by God's grace and power to will and act according to his good purpose in our lives Here's another guy from the tech industry who is the inventor James Williams is his name and venter of one of the most important advertising systems in the history of the Internet and one day at work for Google he was taking a look at some big glowing screens and multi-colored displays with charts and data on it about how much people were clicking on the ads and so on and he looked at that and he had a pang of men we are really messing with people he goes that's a 1000000 people right there see that one data point it's a 1000000 people who are doing something because of our manipulative system that they otherwise wouldn't have done and he has now become a critic of what he calls the largest most standardised most centralized form of. Attention control in history let me say that again he called it the largest the most standardised the most centralized form of attention control in human history you think about that from the standpoint of prophecy and Satan wanted to come in in the last days and work around deceptions you have this system in place ready for his use to control the mass mind in an unprecedented way now one of the biggest whistleblowers coming out of big tech His name is Tristen Harris he studied at the Stanford University I love this name Persuasive Technology Lab Now he's got working in Silicon Valley under the psychological masters who are creating this system and they call it person a sieve technology now he's now a critic of this but the word persuasion right out of the Gates is a little bit of a misnomer what is true persuasion persuasion would be where you appeal to somebody is reason you present evidence facts reasoning Watchet Bible truth in a compelling way you know in a winsome way to draw them into accepting the truth it's a persuasive technique where they are still exercising the fruit of the Spirit self-control they still have their individuality you're appealing to the free will God has given to people that's persuasion so when he comes out of Stanford with every method of imaginable to manipulate the mass mind he came out and said This is not good what we are doing we were top. His word covert ways to grab people's interest attention and clicks covert ways that doesn't sound like persuasion does it that sounds like covert manipulation so when you think about who Satan is what is his name the father of lies he is the father of lies and deception and trickery John 8 verse $44.00 the serpent was subtle and crafty The Bible says that is the system we are dealing with now the same types of methods. And so interesting Harris said never before in history have the decisions of a handful of designers had so much impact on how millions of people around the world spend their attention he was kind of stating the obvious but he had the courage to come out even did a ted talk on this so this is gone mainstream with these whistleblowers he's pointing out that the mass mind can be shaped controlled manipulated like never before in history never before in history have the designs of these engineers been able to do such a thing he goes on and says all of us are jacked into this system all of our minds can be hijacked our choices are not as free as we think they are he says a handful of people working at a handful of technology companies through their choices will steer would a 1000000000 people are thinking today a 1000000000 people have a smartphone in their pocket a computer in their pocket with the Internet the social media and everything Wow So when you read the words in the Bible. The whole world wonders after the beast are you starting to see the infrastructure of this being laid will this have a technological application in terms of how it is carried out it's already happening before our very eyes some of the strategies and techniques that Tristen Harris pointed out as a whistleblower was Facebook using one simple change in color that totally dramatically changed the way people interacted with Facebook and it was the alert button that one right there and there and there it used to be blue Does anybody remember that the fire of I don't even remember that but I have learned in the history books of this that Facebook's color scheme is blue and they used to have the message will or color also blue and they weren't quite getting the engagement that they wanted so they said what can we do to really grab people's attention and they said let's use the color red because then we will get people's attention because red is a trigger. Color Tristen Harris says and that's why it is used as an alarm signal so they're literally setting off a little anxiety alarm in the brains of people when they see that this needs to be solved it's like the state of insufficiency or other things like I this is this red this is an alarm this is a problem I got to get rid of the rad I got to look at these messages guess what didn't work Gage didn't skyrocketed when they simply change that to read isn't that something then one team came along in this article by The Atlantic magazine and I can't blame the teens for starting to have thoughts like this remember yesterday when I cited the survey that 63 percent of teenagers agree with the statement I wish though Szell media had never been invented Yes it can be used to God's glory it can be used for great good but for so many people it is a ball and chain it is an addictive cycle and I have bit you waited clicking a wasting of time in a psychological depressive and even suicide in answering a fact for so many people so when they came out 2 thirds of them saying I just wish it had never been invented it makes sense to get an insight into this teen's thought process about this she said. We didn't have a choice to know any life without i Pads or i Phones Isn't that an insightful thing about choice she goes on and says I think we like our phones more than we like actual people I'll talk about that with you on Friday actually I have direct neurological effects of the very thing that we are in love with our i Phones literally neurologically more on that on Friday but back to this part we didn't have a choice we didn't have a choice so a system that is capturing the thoughts without our free will and gauge Mint is removing freedom of choice from the equation whose kingdom does that mirror gods or satans that say this methods or I've got an answer is our individuality but breathing into us His Spirit and saying I will make you a new creation choosey this day whom you shall sir Well this young person is like you know we were kind of you know you saw on Sunday the i Pad activity seat for babies right in the i Pod and all that craziness in the baby swiping the magazine are like these kids are getting thrust into this from the earliest of ages without any choice and these systems are are beginning to captivate and capture them with out there and gauge meant whatsoever as a mature young person could choose a founder of the swallowtail school in Hillsboro Oregon this is a Waldorf style school like the ones that the Silicon Valley and juniors are sending their kids to in sin in the Bay Area as well this is up in Oregon and the founder of the school stated the following about when to introduce technological tools in the lives of young people and she said this We believe that computer skills in the classroom should be postponed to high school and that's even later than the Silicon Valley Waldorf School of the peninsula they started in middle school but this one said high school why I bring this up in the context of free will because listen to what she says now this is a secular person probably kind of spiritual as new agey Waldorf stuff but the rocks are crying out listen to what she says we think Little Children should not be baby the media because. Cause we need to create a moral foundation of freedom of choice instead of being totally dependent on electronic media these are deep insights the teenager the Waldorf School later saying it's about freedom of choice same thing as Dr Carr Doris says here he says my whole thesis is that we should let the child's brain develop 1st and then we can introduce technological tools at more mature ages Dr Dunkley with reset your child's brain by the way that's going to be back there on the table as well tomorrow so we're we're getting all this in your hands that's I was praising God a.b.c. was like you're you've got all kinds of stuff here let's do it all tomorrow Dr Dunkley says when it comes to children's development protect the frontal lobe for as long as you can in childhood by limiting screens as much as possible during childhood and so when these are secular people saying these things and we know the seal of God being placed on the forehead metaphorically symbolically but also quite literally without frontal lobe brain circuitry being transformed and being renewed and when children are thrust into an addictive mind control system from an early age that they end up losing their free will choice and that is something that God takes very seriously as a god of love because you can't have love without an atmosphere of free choice Kenya now I was thinking about these these people statements about the freedom of choice and the teens saying we didn't know any life without i Pads or i Phones and some you know some families who might say we're going to be a little more strict on childhood media we're going to wait for this we're not going to do any of that and so never until this age or whatever they might get criticized by people and you might hear this oh that's such a controlling strict excessively you know autocratic parenting style you have to allow the children to explore the media and find their individuality by going on line from an early age and doing whatever they want year controlling them not timeout didn't we just hear that placing addictive substances in a child's hands. It's going to do the it's going to do the opposite of enhance their free will so by withholding things in that childhood phase while that frontal lobe is developing we are of firming their free will choice we're helping their brain to develop to the point where when they are older they will have the capacity to choose where if they're addicted from an early age they won't ever have that ability to choose in the same way that they otherwise would be so just never let anybody say oh you're taking away freedom by not letting kids do whatever they want absolutely false in fact there's a statement a child guidance that says parents who are indulging their children and allowing their children to do whatever they want it's people call that very loving parenting style it says it is the veriest cruelty This is away with such love it's not love it's cruelty to be inducting children into harmful harmful habits from an early age this is Dr Marion Wolf she's the author of reader come home and she talks also about how the child's prefrontal cortex has not yet learned the rewards of sustained effort and attention so when they have all the multimedia devices particularly the interactive screen time to video games on the i Pads and everything on line what happens is with a little prefrontal development on their side children are completely at the mercy of one distraction after another and they quickly jump from one shiny new stimulus to another. I spoke with a mother recently who had a young lady grew up in a home in her home where media was on the more restrictive side and not not allowing children to do whatever they wanted and being outdoors a lot in books and trying to have a more natural childhood and somebody might say well this this young lady Christie will call her would not be able to navigate the realm of media as a younger though she's going to jump off the deep end deep end because it was withheld from her and just is going to be that much hunger and desire for it is going to become over the top she's going to really overreact against Never having been able to play video games and whatever well it went like this at age 20 she left for a Christian institution where she was to work and serve in a missionary status and she now has or smartphone because she's been mentored into this as a young lady now and how to use it wisely and how to use the Internet in a in a god glorifying way that doesn't rob you of your life and she finds herself I just watch all these You Tube videos and they were silly ridiculous things and it's a waste of time this is like sheer entertainment I spent an hour and a half on that and after a few days of doing that she put the brakes on because she noticed the problem coming in because the frontal lobe had been protected and developed in a way where as a 11 year old you wouldn't have that capacity to be able to have that strength to say No Same thing with Joe another fellow I didn't meet Joe I met Christie but I met Joe's mother and his mother told me you know our family was a family where we had 0 video games I'm telling you we were practicing violin and we were hitting the books and we were doing things in a very. Rather strict manner with education is a very academically inclined family this particular one and she said video games are going to disrupt that so we had none of it until a well meaning relative perhaps well meaning gave my boys the Tendou handheld d.s. video game system. At Christmas and they opened it up and mom had no idea this was coming by the way please don't do that check with mom and what she thinks would be appropriate gifts for the kids but now mom's in an awkward situation do I ruin Christmas and have a big ole thing about this and she's like Oh Ok so she says our i boy says we're going to do families left we're going to do a trial on this 30 minutes a day and that's it how many families have tried this thing of the limits of the amount of video games you play per day and it never good never goes beyond that all of a sudden within days it's video games are designed to be addictive We'll talk more about that in just a 2nd these kids are 30 becomes 45 real quick and mom didn't notice it oh yeah Ok I'll go I'll turn it off but then the addiction is setting in more and they're in the bathroom and they're in the bathroom for an hour like a knock knock knock what are you doing in there go to the bathroom for an hour Oh Ok I'll come right out yeah you had a video game and so mom caught on to this she said enough for this there is no lying and deception in all of this and the performance of the other routines and tasks is dropping she takes the d.s.s. out to the curb. And all of a sudden they're gone now Joe had a childhood by and large where he did have the protective frontal Oh and by college age he heads off to college and he gets access to a video game again and he starts playing it and then he messages mom is like mom thank you for withholding these things from me because it is sucking away my time and I'm getting addicted to it and I do not want to do it anymore I'm going to ditch it I'm getting rid of it right now and don't expect me to message you on Instagram because I just won't be online that much I'm here to study and so these are examples just of people who are young adults who didn't you know we might think well you know if the kids don't have a from early ages and they're not going to learn how to use it you know that they're not going to be skilled with the technological tools that are so important to use in this modern economy now I want to bring exhibit a to you the dolphin that can use an i Pad and exhibit b. would be the chimpanzee that can play the video game and then another chimpanzee literally scrolling social media on a smartphone this is not doctored video that is an actual chimpanzee not just watching a video but see what he does next. Now let's see what else is on. Monday we will. Know what else is on Instagram or else watch this one interesting so it's called the Smart Phone because we don't have to be that smart to use it right these technological tools are so intuitive so user friendly and fact there are 2 user friendly because they become so addictive that's how they're designed to be in fact Sugata Mitra in India placed internet computers in remote Indian villages where children had never seen a computer screen before and they figured out how to use the Internet like in a couple of days they were on it the American Academy of Pediatrics says parents don't fret about little children now learning how to use these technological tools because they are very intuitive and easy to learn how to use these days now long before the like button and pull to refresh and the red color on Facebook and even before my space I think that was the 1st major social media but I was thinking back to the ninety's when I was a teenager there was social media and here's what it sounded like. Ah we'll see you anybody young the younger crowd here you live in Louisville are you doing you that's called dial up right when you used to call the Internet and it would occupy the phone line and nobody could call you and I were you doing up all evening and oh I was just chatting on the See here I was I logged on I logged on and waiting waiting waiting waiting waiting all these horrific noises happened and then did I did I Yes I did you got mail. In the dope I mean is firing off and there I was a social media addict as a teenager in the ninety's on dial up see America Online the guys there he's running and then we're all together and so happy getting on line I'm sitting there chatting I'm God forgive me confession moment God has grown me since the. Recent times but sit in on their chatting till all hours of the night so for generations now big tech industries have been attempting to build attics and I'll state it as a quote from the c.e.o. of h.b.o. what we're in the business of doing is building Addicks building video Addicks So he's coming out in admitting it he's saying this is our business model we're trying to get you with Nec to the c.e.o. of Netflix came out with a tweet and he said our business model is we have to beat our competitors and Netflix has competitors our Facebook and and h.b.o. and your sleep so we have to overrule your sleep hours and get you watching Netflix in the middle of the night you know you're addicted when in a recent survey internet connection outranks blank in the things millennial is value most for. Quality of life what do you think might go in that blank for millennial age young adults who would say internet connection is more important to me than what I guess what goes in here than hot water and daylight. 1st of all that's gross like no hot water sanitation aspects of that are limited but daylight you're talking about seeing God's creation around you in the 3 dimensional non virtual bright and beautiful world you'd rather give that up than give up internet connection you know you're addicted when and it becomes an aspect of boredom in our lives we have to get on line because I'm bored oh what am I going to do well let me see what's on my social media what am I going to do a what's on t.v. is this boredom thing which is a new concept in history of civilization if you go back 200 years to prior to the industrial revolution in the English language you do not find this race anywhere people just didn't have the I'm bored phenomenon that we so have today so frequently and so often for so many of us why do they have boredom 200 years ago they didn't have the phrase at least and there was much less of it for sure what were they doing they were busy working right they were they it was an agrarian society predominantly which requires a lot of physical labor and they were serious students as well and the out of the realm of academics and study and reading was a very important aspect of the early republic in this country and so boredom is a modern phenomenon you get the cities you get the amusements you get the entertainment industry and now you get the on line everything with me all the time and boredom is truly a modern post modern phenomenon and a concept you never would have heard about 200 years ago study smartphone addicts have shorter attention span and are more prone to boredom so men were brought into an inexperienced laboratory to be experimented on the experiment went like this go ahead and sit in this chair and you're going to sit in this laboratory a setting with nothing to look at and nothing to do it's white walls and blank ground and no screens and no books and nothing to look at nothing to do and I'm going to put this little device on your hand and. You just shocked me yes that was a mild electric shock it's not harmful to you apologized. That now this is the button for hitting the electric shock by the way Ok now see how long you can sit in here with nothing to occupy your mind. It was torture for these men within 6.5 minutes the average man was reaching over to tap that button just to give himself some type of stimulation even if it was pain the pain of just being alone with your thoughts is greater than that of an electric shock because of this boredom phenomenon in our age by the way one 3rd of women also began to shock themselves as well 6.5 minutes for the average man the media mind is bored the mind of Christ is not familiar with the concept because when you live life God's way and you learn and rediscover what it means to be human again in our labor in our study and in our activities to serve the needy and in caring for children and animals and building things and fixing things and and growing things and touching the nature of around us in the soil beneath us and cooking and cleaning in reading and studying and entrepreneurial endeavors and ministry endeavors and artistic outlets and music we could go on and on and on and on the human experience is so captivating God has created us to have this desire of every living thing satisfied right he hasn't created us to just. Do no he's given us an incredible existence we were not supposed to only live for a few decades or 100 years we're supposed to live on and on and on perpetually and then people live for like 900 years in the end to the Louvin world do they ever get bored after 900 years like what do we do now and it's like we've done everything no there is no such thing we're not familiar with the concept of boredom when you're on a mission when you wake up in the morning and you're a child of God beloved of God and a servant of God sent forth to do something with your life the media mind though is restless and pleasure seeking the mind of Christ content in the moment the present moment I'm with with another person or even with the birds and trees around me and most importantly with my Savior Jesus the ever heard of no mo phobia. This is a real thing 66 percent of people suffer from the fear of not having your no mobile phone no mo phobia no mobile phone phobia. 2 thirds of people from time to time suffer from nomo phobia and according to surveys nomo phobia ranks as high on people's fears scale as a terrorist attack which last time I checked can kill you but not having your mobile phone usually doesn't have fatal consequences to it 46 percent of Americans claim I couldn't live without my smartphone 46 percent of you I could live without it in one u.k. survey 73 percent of respondents use this word to describe how they feel when they have misplaced their phone slightly concerned no parent 73 percent of them feel panicked when they have misplaced their phone in fact I'm reading in a science publication Science Daily about smartphone lost anxiety disorder did you think you would see the day this is a thing this exists smartphone loss anxiety disorder and Sherry Turkle research at Massachusetts Institute of Technology she has found that a lost cellphone hits people emotionally like the death of a loved one Whoa. Ok we've reached I don't know peak insanity maybe in this culture it could get any crazier there's starting to be a backlash against this isn't there now can you go one hour without your phone 30 people for 30 percent of people admit I could not go an hour without my phone I could not set it away for one hour without checking my social media was out when I have to be on my social media at least once an hour says 30 percent of people who use social media so that it can become addictive as well the social media can so here's a chart about being without your phone and how the stress and anxiety scores go up now the blue one is light daily phone users they don't they don't get increased stress reactions out of their phone calls are not addicted to it but people who are moderate daily phone users after 10 minutes they're here and after 30 minutes they've skyrocketed in their cortisol response in the stress hormones in their body and it stays elevated till that one hour mark which is where they stop charting it the people who are heavy daily phone users they started high they go higher and they keep going higher and it's just a Strasse full life we'll talk more about stress tomorrow but that's the sign of an addiction right there when you like withdrawal symptoms right by the way this word addiction it traces back to the Latin in the time of the Roman Empire the word addiction was used to describe a sentence that somebody would be given if they were a debtor or if they were otherwise ne'er do well and they needed to be sentenced to 10 years or the rest of your life of addiction and that meant involuntary servitude slavery so when you want to be addicted to something you saying I'm ready to be a slave to that thing you know what I want to be a slave to what does the Bible say we can be slaves to righteousness I want to be a slave to righteousness as we saw earlier Christ identifying his thoughts with my thoughts so that when obeying Him I am but carrying out my own impulse and we've used the word addiction a few times and 7 years ago I was quoting George Barna when he came out and said media exposure has become America's. As widespread and serious addiction that was from his research that was a statistical analysis he ran and an objective statement but I got all kinds of flak and people were getting all kinds of feedback and pushback on that so I want you talking about media is not a real addiction this is not every 7 years later the it's like everybody's say in the same thing George Barna said back in 2012 like Dr Nicholas Carr Doris listen to these words carefully let this sink in he says I've worked with hundreds of heroin addicts and what I can say is that it's easier to treat a heroin addict than a true screen addict we're dealing with something on the same level or higher then the narcotics addictions of previous decades in the present world as well the screen addiction thing he says is harder to get people off of their video game addiction than to get them off of heroin which is the most addictive narcotic drugs there is Chris Anderson the former editor of Wired magazine and now the chief executive of a robotics and drone company says on a scale between candy and crack cocaine it's closer to crack cocaine he says we thought we could control it with their children he speaking of this is beyond our power to control he says this is going straight to the pleasure centers of the developing brain this is beyond our capacity as regular parents to understand I didn't know what we were doing to their brains until I started to observe the symptoms and the consequences and how many hundreds of e-mails have I received and conversations from concerned parents who have begun to observe the consequences of childhood video game play and so much media exposure for children you see the symptoms you see the consequences you see the withdrawal you see the arguments you see the irritability and it is a serious issue so go back to that reset your child's brain be sure to come by the table tomorrow because I want you to pick that up and give that to anybody with a parent because it has the step by step program and plan for how to help children out of that but it's now. Not just children is it this is the u.c.l.a. director of neuro science named Dr Peter Wybrow he calls this phenomenon of screen addiction electronic cocaine so Chinese researchers call it digital heroin and then you read headlines like this smartphone addiction alters brain chemistry in young people for the worse it literally is changing their brain chemistry in a way where it's doing an imbalance in the brain and their brain is looking like a alcoholics brain or somebody suffering from depression and that's just from using the play in the video games and excessive social media time at the wrong ages and all of that So here's Dr Dunkley again she says view electronics as a stimulant in essence not unlike caffeine amphetamines or cocaine. She says electronic screen device use puts the body into a state of higher also and hyper focus followed by a crash this over stimulation of the nervous system is capable of causing a variety of chemical hormonal and sleep disturbances in the same way other stimulants can so view these electronic devices as caffeine amphetamines and cocaine for children this is the researcher in addiction at the Pentagon and Dr Andrew dawn the head of addiction research in the us Navy he says that the tech industry is deliberately making the video games as addictive as possible and His term was where I got it from he calls it digital pharmacopeia and that would be great for sorcery or drug use Back to Dr Carr Doris he says we now know that those i Pads smartphones and x. boxes are a form of digital drug recent brain imaging research showing that they affect the brain's frontal cortex which controls executive functioning the ability to self regulate and have self control it's affecting the frontal cortex executive functioning including impulse control in exactly the same way that cocaine does the kind of here in a theme here aren't way they're saying the same thing over and over again it's a digital drug it's like cocaine it's digital pharmacopoeia In fact you can look at the brains of young people and watch the amount of dopamine that's being released while they're playing that game and it is akin to that of taking the dose of speed the drugs speed from the eighty's remember the rave the rave drug so both drug use and excessive screen usage actually stunts the frontal cortex and reduces the gray matter in that part of the brain it's literally shrinking the brain that's a serious wake up call so hyper arousing games create a double whammy not only are they addicting but then addiction perpetuates itself by negatively impacting the part of the brain that can help with impulsivity and good decision maker. So the devil really wants those prefrontal cortex is reduced and diminished and shrunken and shriveled so that you can exercise that self control that God is empowering us to do if we will if we will be hold him and live life God's way the mind can be transformed renewed So if you're thinking oh no we've destroyed our minds and that of our children forever and we are lost and doomed to death and destruction Well hold on don't forget the bible promise it says we can be transformed so we've gone down here we can go right back up by God's power and grace So yes this is a serious thing but it's not too problematic for our all powerful god in boss the famous video game creator says that these habit forming technologies are the cigarettes of this century the big scandal the big thing we're all going to look back on this time and say what were we thinking one in 10 teens now admits that they play over 40 hours of video games per week in the video game designers are making it harder and harder to stop worrying they keep the they make these games in a laboratory setting so that if there's subjects in the experiments if they're not getting a blood pressure boost to $180.00 over $140.00 they're like there's not enough an adrenaline rush on that level in that scene of the game intensify it we've got to get people more engaged more adrenaline rush by this by this scene in the game in the book irresistible by Adam Alter he talks about this game World of Warcraft and he says if I'm addicted to say World of Warcraft The minute I start firing up the game my brain will look in a scan very much like the brain of someone who's addicted to heroin and is preparing the next hit he says during the act of playing the game my brain will look very much like that person's brain will look as they're taking aero and or the brain of someone who is addicted to gambling as they sit in front of a slot machine and play the game 100000000 roughly have played the game and by many measures about half of them have developed an addiction at least temporarily so that to me suggests that it's a weaponized game it's an experience that's very very hard to resist and that's why when I've shared media on. The brain seminars to people and somebody is like you know my son is here's a video game addict and oftentimes it's really hard to break through that addiction I just talked to a guy right across the street just yesterday he says I was one of the top 10 in the world at Call of Duty and they have competitions and you know you can rank up he says I saw your media on the brain and that was God speaking to me and I hung it up and let it go and still continue to press forward this information you might be like whoa this is intense this is pretty heavy stuff but remember that while the media mind is addicted the mind of Christ is free and the Bible says where the spirit of the Lord is there is liberty God wants to bring freedom to each one of us and we can say thanks be to God who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ and we can say where the spirit of the award is there is freedom and liberty from these addictions and many many many many testimonies of people who have come out of these and these technological addictions to be able to live a productive and happy life but we may all have kind of low level addictions are many of us George Barna said the majority of Americans qualify for an addiction to some type of their favorite media and entertainment the majority of us so it's not just the crazy 40 hour a week video game on 60 Minutes they talked about a study that was being conducted a $300000000.00 National Institutes of Health study and I got my attention while the biggest study Avar media use and the developing brain somebody sent me the link to and they said Scott you've got to watch this you're going to love it and there were certain aspects that I loved they brought in Dr Dimitri Christakis who I told you about on Monday and so many good things in the episode but one thing that absolutely made me lose my breath and my job proverbially hit the floor they said they had experts doctors researchers of the professional people the guardians of our children's brains supposedly saying you know one thing we're looking into over the next 10 years as we do this $300000000.00 study is we're looking into whether video games might be addictive. And it might release dopamine in the brain why but. Excuse me I mean you're going to tell us in 10 years so we're going to have a generation of kids coming up without the proper warnings that's unconscionable they even show in the study preliminary findings show that 7 hours of screen time per day which is less than the average for teens but 7 hours of screen time per day is causing premature thinning of the cortex and they're there experts say we've noticed premature thinning alteration in the development of child brains and we're not certain if this is a good or a bad thing. People this is this is the big up a sort of 60 Minutes so that's why I keep doing this you know it's like when everybody's saying it do I need to keep doing this I picked up the Grand Rapids Press the other day my hometown newspaper and on the cover it was. A fax a video of a binge watching Netflix and I'm like This is on the front page of my hometown newspaper I can stop doing media seminars but then I read on in the article and it goes it says watching is harmful to your health because you're losing sleep and sedentary and junk food and it lists all these things and then the 2nd half of the article is how to binge watch responsibly. What Be sure to watch together with people and take periodic breaks and trying not to do it late at night like come on can we raise the bar and raise the standard a little so even though the rocks are crying out they're not crying out with the urgency that those of us who know we're in the last days have and that doesn't mean that we that we throw out all media but when it comes to addictive media we've got to take serious stances on this for our lives this is what Jim Stier c.e.o. and founder of Common Sense Media said he said tech companies are conducting a massive real time experiment on our kids so while 10 years goes by and $300000000.00 is put into this he says in the present moment there's an experiment happening on our kids and nobody is holding them accountable Dr Wolfe says no. Acting internal review board at any university would allow a researcher to do what our culture has already done with no education or previous evidence and that is that they've introduced a complete qua addictive set of attention compelling devices without knowing the possible side effects and ramifications for the subjects of this experiment our kids the guinea pigs of a generation of media addiction this is Dr Steiner and there again from the big disconnect she says talk of addiction is not hyperbole so this isn't just somebody trying to be an alarmist of these serious researchers are saying this is not exaggeration this is not hyperbole this is a clinical reality in fact that's borne out in the World Health Organization's definitions of addictions as well as the American Psychiatry associations manual they qualify screen addictions as serious addictions today so we're way past where we were in 2012 when they didn't have this one out yet and hadn't caught up with reality yet while they're starting to catch up now and you get people like Dr Steiner they're saying it's not hyperbole it's a clinical reality to call it an addiction as adults we may choose keyword free will we may choose to mess with our mind and gamble with our own neurology but I have never met a caring parent who would knowingly risk his or her child's future in this way and yet we are handing these devices that we use the language of addiction to describe over to our children we're even more vulnerable to the impact of everyday use on their developing brains that Deckard Doris he says your kids' brain on Minecraft looks like a brain on drugs he says No wonder we have a hard time peeling kids from their screens and find our little ones agitated when their screen time as if to interrupt it did you hear that phrase the brain on drugs Well 1st what kinds of media videogames addictive but how about this brain on drugs does that bring anybody else back to the eighty's commercials the public service announcements with the egg in the frying pan it's like a kids this is your brain. This is your brain on drugs it's like this ominous voice and music and any questions like whoa Ok I'm not going to do drugs I grew up in the eighty's I go to the dime store and pick up a pack of candy cigarettes ironically cigarettes I'd open the pack and in the inner flap it would say say no to drugs like everyone I want I was hearing this say no to drugs say no to drugs little kids don't touch this stuff don't do the crack cocaine as it's emerging in the eighty's the sixties and seventies just happened and all the major addictions were emerging kids don't do drugs don't do drugs the chapel speaker would come in and he'd be like. From the sixty's who did the rock music and we played in the. One I was going to say and I would be like that's a testimony I don't want to go there when he did so that they thoroughly message to us praise God I never touch those drugs now I had rebellious years in my teenage years I played in a band I've consumed other things but I didn't want to touch these hard drugs that I had heard these stories about because I knew how they could captivate and ruin your life now we need the same kind of message is particularly for video games particularly for all the entertainment media for our youth don't win 83 percent of kids have a gaming console in their home nearly all teenagers have a smartphone and here we now ask ourselves have we we left the head of the research in and of what we what we need to learn is best for them and so praying that through as individuals and as families it's important thinking about the family though this area of the brain which is called the reward circuitry of the brain the pleasure pathway of the brain here's some really really good news when you are in a deeply bonded and emotionally attached relationship whether that romantic relationship parents and child brother and sister mother and son father and son etc died. Or and mother here you go you are filling this area up and the whole brain actually with activity in a bunch of different Sara Tonin pleasure centers and you're getting the full brain experience and guess what you're co-opting the reward circuit and filling it with good things so Satan can't come in with the addiction and captivate that area as easily so we have the answer from God I've talked about this in the last series in a greater loss than slaves to purity in a pornographic world recovering from habits requires new habits filling the brain with different things and better things in the same circuitry but rewiring and we rerouting it for a holiness pathway I don't have time to get into that right now but you can get those D.V.D.'s tomorrow when we put the table up again tomorrow but on the last 3 discs of that are all about overcoming principles so I know I've thrown a lot at you here with like the dangers of this addiction but let's just remember this bottle tax when the enemy comes in like a flood the spirit of the Lord will raise up a standard against him and so we were not going to give the devil a single inch of ground in territory in our lives because we have Bible promises and principles for holy living to overcome these habits and I want to close with the concept of happiness because God wants us all to be happy he wants to he wants us to have joy and there was an article have smartphones destroyed a generation written the Atlanta Magazine and it points out that social media use is actually causing unhappiness which the research was was in doubt for a number of years because they found people who use more social media were more unhappy but they didn't know if it was a causal relationship they didn't know if the social media was causing the on happiness or if it was just unhappy people are drawn to social media and so it's just a correlating to 2 factors and this study found it was a causing factor so people using social media it depresses we saw that yesterday right with depression rates and everything else and speaking of happiness the happiest teens use smart phones and digital media less than an hour a day and then back to this hour. Because I want to share with you something wonderful and I love the ending with this quotation it is such a powerful moment to just say yes let's do something better I kind of spoiled it right there but here she goes ready she's going to tell us about. That university is going to tell us about studies that have been done on how teenagers use their time and how happy they are and this will apply to all of us no matter what age we're apt she goes and tells the results of these surveys could not be clearer they've been done for generations on tens of thousands of teens this is not in doubt the results could not be clear Teens who spend more time than average on screen activities are more likely to be unhappy and those who spend more time than average on non screen activities are more likely to be happy and there's not a single exception all screen activities are linked to less happiness and all non screen activities are linked to more happiness if you were going to give advice for a happy adolescence based on this survey it would be straightforward put down the phone turn off the laptop and do something anything that does not involve a screen let's pray. Lord Jesus we thank you so much that you've satisfied the desire of every living thing that you withhold no good thing from us that you want us to take joy and delight as we walk with you and Lord help us to find ways to put these technological devices back in their place as useful tools in your service that they don't control us that the methodology of big tech to manipulate the minds and the designers who made these terribly addicting that we would find ways to say no to the digital drug in our lives and in our children's lives or please give us wisdom and that help us to try out a fast from certain things and to make a commitment to just relieve ourselves of some media thing for a week a month whatever you would direct help us to find something better. And we know that is in your nature that is in Jesus that is in your word that is in church involvement service witnessing We just know you've given us more things to do than we could ever find time for and so we just delight in that life and help us to rediscover how to be human again how to how to not be captive but to be free we thank you that your Holy Spirit comes with the spirit of liberty we thank you that we can have victory through our Lord Jesus Christ in His name we pray in this media was brought to you by audio force a website dedicated to spreading God's word through free sermon audio and much more if you would like to know more about audio verse or if you would like to listen to more sermons leave the visit w w w. Dot org.


Embed Code

Short URL